• ABC’s “Of Kings and Prophets,” Broadcast TV’s Version of HBO’s Explicit “Game of Thrones”

    by  • March 1, 2016 • Broadcast Decency, Sex, Television, Violence • 13 Comments


    On Tuesday, March 8th, ABC will debut a new miniseries based on Old Testament stories called “Of Kings and Prophets.” But this miniseries will be nothing like the 2013 Mark Burnett and Roma Downey-produced “The Bible” miniseries that broke ratings records when it aired on the History Channel. Instead, “Of Kings and Prophets” has been compared — by its own showrunner — to HBO’s sex and violence-drenched “Game of Thrones.” “It’s suspenseful. It’s extraordinarily violent,” says Chris Brancato. “It’s sexual. … We’ve sought to make the show modern…This is a non-dragon version of Game of Thrones.”

    At the Television Critics Association winter press tour, Brancato also boasted, “These stories are violent and sex-drenched. We’re going to go as far as we can…we’ll be fighting with broadcast standards and practices.” Some of the content will be so explicit, Brancato said, that it may not even air on television, but will only be available online, where there are fewer restrictions.

    The PTC has already reached out to over 200 of the nation’s top TV sponsors to alert them to Brancato’s plans to make “Of Kings and Prophets” one of the most sexually explicit and graphically violent series ever to air on broadcast television, urging them to carefully weigh whether association with this series will help or harm the hard-earned loyalty of consumers.

    TV shows that are filled with sex and violence will only remain on the public airwaves as long as advertisers are willing to sponsor them. We urge companies to use caution when considering whether or not to advertise on this show, especially if the show’s content is comparable to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

    Recent studies have demonstrated that television advertisers risk harming their brand and their ability to influence buying decisions when they put their sponsorship dollars behind programs saturated in sex and violence. One meta-analysis from Ohio State University found that advertising on such programs decreases advertising effectiveness. Advertisers have a big and important responsibility to the program’s viewers: what they sponsor allows programs to remain on the air, for better or worse. Without advertisers, TV shows do not exist.

    It is our sincere hope that advertisers take heed and choose to put their sponsorship dollars towards programming that isn’t saturated with sex and violence and which could harm children.

    We will let you know which companies are proud to pay for graphic sex and violence as the series unfolds in the coming weeks.




    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    13 Responses to ABC’s “Of Kings and Prophets,” Broadcast TV’s Version of HBO’s Explicit “Game of Thrones”

    1. laura haupert
      March 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      I am really disappointed a hurt about the cancelation on of kings and profets. You can televise reality shows like mob wives and other drama human trash shows but when it comes to christian shows that teach older and younger people about Gods word it just goes to show how far people have fallen away from GOD. If possible please reschedule the series to air or let me know where i can go to see the entire series. God Bless.

    2. Connie Stewart
      March 12, 2016 at 10:20 am

      I was only into the show for 5 minutes and I realized how different the stories from the Bible are told by believers and unbelievers. This was in the latter category. With all the wonderful Christian movies available I didn’t want to waste my time on this. Since I had recorded it – I just hit the delete button!! Thanks for your hard work, it is appreciated!!

    3. George
      March 11, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Not very inspiring! Highly secularized reflection of today’s immoral culture

    4. Jerome Liner
      March 11, 2016 at 1:22 pm

      I found the program to be offensive. It is another soap opera using the bible as an excuse to offend. The producers should be ashamed. If they had any knowledge of what I presume is their own religion, they would know that unmarried men and women were forbidden to be left alone by themselves. Premarital sex was dealt with most harshly. They are debasing mine and their own religion, and that is unforgivable.

    5. March 11, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Then again, we need to acknowledge that the Bible itself is not G-rated in all parts, especially the Old Testament! How much of the Old Testament tells stories of bloody, cruel, terrible violence, and mass murder, not just human-committed against human, but also purported God-committed against human! How many verses describe rape and torture of women by men! Many sections of the Bible are truly inappropriate for children and even youth. If converted into a movie in its entirety, the Bible would indeed receive an R-rating for its sex and violence content. So lets stop being hypocrites, pretending the Bible is G-rated. Are we not talking with a double standard too? We need to own up to that.

    6. For the good of Children
      March 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I could tell from the previews that religious people will be changing their faith based on this program. What an embarrassment! But don’t worry, there’s room on the LIGHT side for everyone – just say the word, you are forgiven and welcome to the wonderful world of Joy and kindness. And I urge you to post a comment at http://www.disneyland.com under the Help dropdown, select Contact Us – then choose to send an email. Because yes – they do own ABC and are rich enough to put this on cable where young minds don’t get exposed and develop into mature minds that need that crap. Keep it pure folks – kind and simple.

    7. Caroline
      March 11, 2016 at 8:08 am

      We watched the premier and sadly, they have butchered another Bible story. I put this one with the movie about Noah. For all of the Christians who only go to church and don’t read the Bible for themselves… wake up people. Stop letting others interpret the Bible for you and read it for yourself. This movie had about as much fact in the history as Walt Disney’s Pocahontas! Everyone wants to complain about the violence and mild sex scenes but no one cares that the story is told wrong with a ton of embellishing.

    8. Donald Nichols
      March 4, 2016 at 11:40 am

      SHAME! Lady? Ga Ga I love the way you sing, but your double standard on violent sex just made me a former fan! You are beautiful on the outside, but your soul is a dead grave. Pity

    9. David
      March 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Don’t let your children watch this show. However, open minded adults who understand what sex and violence means, feel free to view if you wish. That’s what being an adult is all about.

    10. Matt
      March 2, 2016 at 10:10 am

      The big question is will ABC actually give this “going as far as we can go violent and sex-drenched, fighting our standards and practices department” show a TV-MA rating? Maybe the first time they’ve ever given any of their shows (or any broadcast network TV show I can think of) a TV-MA rating?

      I bet they won’t! They’ll still say this is appropriate for 14 year olds.

    11. hamner114
      March 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

      I wasn’t aware of this show until I got to this page from the PTC Twitter account. I love GOT and am really interested in checking this out. Thanks for the recommendation!

    12. moax429
      March 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

      If the PTC posts a page regarding complaints about this program to the FCC, I hope to be one of the first to take advantage of that and file a complaint.

      I have already complained about a few other shows to the FCC, but they’ve reverted to their old, “paper tiger”-ish ways again (e.g. they said I’d need to have a video of the offensive program in question). At least when the PTC posts a page with an FCC complaint form on it, I *know* they’ll forward it to the Commission *without* any added burdens of furnishing a recording.

    13. Matt
      March 1, 2016 at 2:42 pm

      Thanks for your work in reaching out to those 200 TV sponsors about this show. This looks like yet another effort to push the envelope and “break down walls of decency” on broadcast TV. It seems like they want to turn ABC into FX, or even HBO eventually. How long until there’s NO standards and practices at these networks? Or they are so lax they let anything go.

      The showrunner said “These stories are violent and sex-drenched. We’re going to go as far as we can…we’ll be fighting with broadcast standards and practices.” “Some of the content will be so explicit, Brancato said, that it may not even air on television, but will only be available online, where there are fewer restrictions.” Let’s remember ABC is owned by DISNEY of all companies!

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